I’m 18-21: how do I get cheap car insurance?

Car insurance quotes are calculated by taking many factors into account. These include the type of car, the address it’s kept at and its annual mileage.

Crucially for new drivers, the age of the driver, his or her driving experience (how many years, and any claims and convictions) and No Claims Bonus are also considered.

So, until you’ve managed to get some driving years under your belt, you need to prepare yourself for some relatively steep premiums.

But all is not lost! There are lots of ways you can keep the cost as low as possible…

The secrets to unlocking cheaper car insurance

1. Look for post-test deals

If you’re learning to drive, and want to practise in your own car or someone else’s, keep your eyes peeled for learner driver insurance with post-test deals. Some insurance providers offer discounts on standard policies if you stay with them after passing your test.

Also, make sure the policy allows you to build up a No Claims Bonus straight away – it’s the best route to future savings.

2. Only use comparison sites as a general guide

Did you know?
You’re perfectly entitled to switch provider before your current policy expires if you find a cheaper one elsewhere. But, you will lose any No Claims Bonus earned that year, and you may be charged a cancellation fee.

Consulting a comparison site will give you an indication of market prices as you start out on your quest for cheap car insurance – but you won’t necessarily get the best deal if you buy an insurance policy through one. Many insurers don’t appear on comparison sites, and others can help you far better if you contact them direct.

3. Take a Pass Plus test

It’s probably the last thing you want to hear, but taking a Pass Plus course after passing your driving test will make a big difference to your car insurance premiums – as well as to your driving skills. Some insurers offer discounts of up to 25% for holding Pass Plus and other advanced driving qualifications!

4. Up the excess

A voluntary excess is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim, if you make one. Increasing the voluntary excess on your policy will reduce your premium. However, you’ll need to exercise caution here – never commit yourself to more than you can afford.

Also bear in mind that your voluntary excess is usually coupled with a compulsory excess that’s set by your insurance broker. Make sure you add the two figures together when calculating the total amount you’d have to pay in the event of a claim.

5. Install a black box or dash cam

Insurance companies love a good driver, and so the best deals on the market right now are black box policies. These involve a ‘telematics’ or black box being fitted to your car. The black box tracks where, when and how you drive. It will keep a log of things like sharpness of braking, cornering and acceleration.

Some insurers also offer discounts to drivers who have an approved dashboard camera fitted to their car, to provide evidence in the event of a claim. Policy details vary from provider to provider, so be sure to pick one that’s right for you.

6. Buy the newest car you can afford

In the UK, all car models are assigned a vehicle group based on their performance, security and safety systems, and cost to repair. Since newer cars tend to be safer and more secure, they are usually placed into a lower group and are therefore cheaper to insure. That said, the value of the car also comes into play, so don’t go for anything flashy!

If you can only afford an older car, you could make insurance savings by enhancing its security with an approved alarm, immobiliser or tracking device.

7. Add an experienced driver to your policy

Adding an experienced driver to your policy as a named driver could help to reduce your premiums. However, don’t be tempted to save money by registering an experienced driver as the main driver of your car if he or she rarely or never drives it. If you do, you’ll be guilty of insurance fraud! Learn more about insurance crimes and punishments here.

Adrian Flux offers learner driver insurance from as little as £1 a day. Get a quote to see how much you could save.